In an exhaustive story on Google’s troubles monetizing YouTube, The Wall Street Journal discovered that the company is considering a plan to implement the dreaded pre- and post-roll advertisements, something the company has shunned since the beginning.
It’s a major reversal for the company. Last year, when we talked to then-head of YouTube monetization Shashi Seth he said:
“Pre-rolls and post-rolls did not perform well on our platform. [In our testing,] 75 percent of our users were unhappy with them.”
Seth quit earlier this year; perhaps it was a sign of protest over the impending switch to the hated ad format?
Whatever the reason, the company is under the gun to generate significant revenue and the WSJ reports that money from YouTube ads will most likely hit just $200 million this year (looks like Forbes was right). At a recent talk, Chad Hurley said YouTube is also looking to affiliate sales for revenue. But advertisers like the pre-roll format, and in a crunch time like this, the company will go with what works.